Back in June, when Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) took the wraps off of the next major version of its mobile operating system, iOS 6, one of the subtle additions that you might have missed was the "Eyes Free" feature being built into its virtual personal assistant, Siri.
The goal was to integrate Siri straight into a car's interface and use voice commands to get things done while allowing the driver to focus on the task at hand (driving). Apple has already said that it's actively working with automakers in order to integrate Siri into their voice systems, which can be activated with a voice command button on the steering wheel.
Over the summer, General Motors (NYSE: GM ) confirmed to GM Authority that it had something in the works for the Chevrolet Spark and Sonic, but stopped short of an official announcement. The automaker said to expect something official within the next 12 months or so, and today it's delivered just that.
GM has now announced that the Spark and Sonic RS will be able to connect iPhones running iOS 6 with the Chevrolet MyLink system to use Eyes Free. GM is the first automaker to adopt the new technology, with marketing exec Cristi Landy adding, "It says a lot about our commitment to small-car customers that Chevrolet has announced that Siri Eyes Free capability will be available in the Spark and Sonic well before the luxury brands."
The Spark and Sonic are positioned at the lower end of the market, which makes them an interesting choice as the first models to support Siri, since Apple fetches a premium brand perception. However, the two cars will have the newest version of MyLink, which is a requisite for Siri integration.
This is a win-win for both GM and Apple, since GM can benefit from Apple's momentum while Apple can expand its use cases for the iPhone.
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